Why is there a hole in that steer? … Fistulated Fun Fact Friday
Great Fun Fact Friday from Dr. Lindsay Chichester on fistulated steers!
At UNL we have several fistulated steers which are used for research and education. Traditionally, these fistulas (also called a cannula) were inserted for research purposes. The fistula can either be on their neck (esophageal fistula) to monitor what they eat, especially when grazing to determine grazing and forage preferences OR it can be on their left side, which goes into the rumen, the largest compartment of their stomach to monitor feed and diets, ultimately making livestock rations more efficient. I talk more about ruminants (livestock with one stomach which has four compartments) here.
But today I want to introduce you to the UNL Mobile Beef Lab!
There are actually two of these labs in Nebraska, with the intent to educate! Each lab has one steer and a team of Educators. The Educators all have livestock backgrounds, so they know their way around an animal and a trailer…
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